2012-05-24 / News

Bodacious Dream wins second leg of race, sits in second overall

Two days of in-port racing in Newport this weekend will determine the winner
BY KEN SHANE


Bodacious Dream (with the Jamestown Fish logo) is owned by islander Jeff Urbina. The Class 40 racer currently sits in second place overall in the Atlantic Cup. The boat’s skippers during the first two legs were Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl of Illinois. 
PHOTO BY BILLY BLACK Bodacious Dream (with the Jamestown Fish logo) is owned by islander Jeff Urbina. The Class 40 racer currently sits in second place overall in the Atlantic Cup. The boat’s skippers during the first two legs were Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl of Illinois. PHOTO BY BILLY BLACK Bodacious Dream came home in high style late Sunday night. The Class 40 racing sailboat was the first to arrive in the area, winning the second leg of the Atlantic Cup, the first carbon neutral sailing race in the United States. With its win, Bodacious Dream moved up to second overall place in the competition.

The Atlantic Cup, a Class 40 double-handed grand prix, is in its second year. There were four boats in last year’s race, and this year the number of entrees nearly quadrupled. The 15-boat race began in Charleston, S.C., and proceeded to New York City. After a stopover of a few days, the fleet headed to Newport, where they arrived May 13.

This week the boats are on display at the Newport Shipyard, where crews are hard at work preparing for the in-port racing that takes place this weekend. For those races the crews will increase from two to six members. Following the weekend’s races around the buoys, the awards ceremony will take place Sunday with a total prize purse of $30,000.

Jamestown is the hailing port of Bodacious Dream, which is owned by Jeff Urbina, who lives in town. The boat is crewed by Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl, both of whom reside in the Chicago area, where Urbina also has a home. The boat has a local sponsorship by way of Jamestown Fish, and bears the restaurant’s logo on its hull.

“It was an obvious sponsorship for us because our partners in Jamestown Fish are also partners in Bodacious Dream,” said John Recca, owner of Jamestown Fish and Narragansett CafĂ©. “Dave Rearick has been sailing with Jeff Urbina for years and I understand this Class 40 boat has been their dream for some time.”

Recca said he was proud that the boat bore the colors of his restaurant, and congratulated the skippers for finishing first in the NYCto Newport leg. “It’s exciting to have Jamestown Fish showing its colors all over the East Coast,” he added.

Rearick has been taking care of boats for Urbina and his wife, Gaye Hill, for a number of years. His primary desire is to compete in a solo race around the world, which he will do when he enters Bodacious Dream in the Global Ocean Race in 2013.

“We choose to enter the Class 40 circuit because they have a double-handed and single-handed around-the-world race,” Rearick said. “Looking at the various designs, this is the one that made the most sense to me.”

Bodacious Dream was built in Wellington, New Zealand. Rearick took delivery there in December 2011 and sailed the boat in the area until early February. At that point the boat was shipped to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and worked its way up the East Coast, providing good practice for Rearick’s future attempt at circumnavigation.

According to Scharl, the fact that there are only two crew members means that both of them must do all of the required tasks to sail the boat. Scharl has focused his attention primarily on navigation and tactics. The presence of automatic steering on the boat means that a helmsman is not always required, but it is necessary to have one crew member on watch at all times due to shipping traffic and changing weather conditions. Sail changes require both skippers, and sleep is often at a premium.

The first leg of the race was approximately 640 miles and took 3 1/2 days to complete. Rearick said that they didn’t encounter any rough weather, and the duo enjoyed “champagne sailing” in the Gulf Stream as they headed north. “It was a really good run,” he said.

Bodacious Dream sailed into New York Harbor at night, gybing down the channel to avoid oncoming freighter traffic.

“Coming alongside the Statue of Liberty late at night, you realize that so many people have passed there after crossing the sea in search of a better life and building a country that is essentially the foundation of freedom in the world,” Rearick said. “Across the river was the rebirth of the World Trade Center. So for me it was a moving experience.”

The fleet left New York on May 19, and Scharl made a crucial decision that paid off handsomely. It was a decision based on his observation of weather systems well in advance of the start. When he noticed a system building while the boat was still in port, he knew that the best course would take Bodacious Dream well to the east.

“I told Dave that he should mentally prepare himself to go right,” Scharl said. “I pretty much told myself that we were going to go east until the last boat tacked, and then wait an hour, and then tack ourselves.”

Scharl said that he generally makes clearer decisions when he’s at home looking at a computer than when he’s bouncing around out there trying to formulate a plan on the go.

Bodacious Dream was able to lay the finish line from that point. Despite the fact that Rearick has experience sailing in the area, he wasn’t comfortable sailing into the area at midnight with the fatigue from hours of racing. With an outgoing tide and a light wind, it made for a nervous entry. Still, the crew prevailed over the obstacles, and Bodacious Dream was first over the line.

When the crew of Bodacious Dream expands to six over the weekend, Jamestown’s Chris Pike will be part of it. “We’ve got a good crew and we’re looking forward to a good, fun weekend of racing,” Rearick said.

“The regatta so far has been great,” said Hugh Piggin of Manuka Sports Event Management, one of the race’s organizers. “There are three boats dominating right now and the rest of the pack isn’t far behind them. The one big surprise at the top has been Bodacious Dream from Jamestown. They’re doing a great job.”

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